“I am particularly sensitive to color. As a little girl I agonized over the decision to spray paint my bike hot-pink or cherry-red. I chose cherry-red only to repaint it hot-pink within hours. I remember the struggle between the perceived strength of red and the femininity of pink. Pink won, but with the caveat that "hot" still gave it "balls". I was six.
Around the same time, I went to the county fair and wanted very much to have my face painted. When the face painter lady held up the hand mirror for my inspection, I was so disgusted with the mediocre results I ran screaming into the nearby river and violently scrubbed the offending, imperfect butterfly from my face.
My work still deals with issues of "hot pink" and "perfection". Gender roles, sexuality and societal conditioning have all found their way into my paintings.
Early training in theatre, where I studied Shakespeare and Greek Drama, gave me a template for a stylized and theatrical exploration of the human condition, which in my case is done from an American woman's perspective, through paint.
I paint in oil because of its superior ability to represent flesh and blood. Through painstaking application my leading ladies, theatrically lit and often engaged in some sort of mini-drama, are brought to life. They tell a story that the viewer may recognize, or depict a point of view that may be new to them. Whatever the case, I intend to hold up a mirror in which the viewer finds relevance to their own experience, but I hope not to send them screaming into the river.
I've come to accept my obsession with detail and pursuit of unattainable perfection in my work, and I have to admit the words "hot pink" still give me a thrill.” ~ Rose freymuth-Frazier
Rose Freymuth-Frazier was born and raised in Nevada City, California - a small gold rush town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
She attended Interlochen Arts Academy, a private boarding arts high school in northern Michigan. Upon graduation she was awarded a scholarship to study theatre at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. After completing her training, and a couple of years spent in Hollywood, (which included a stint on a campy, nighttime teen soap opera), Rose turned her attention to her other interest - figurative oil painting.
Seeking rigorous, technical training that most schools could not offer she returned to New York City and studied for two years at the Art Students League. After taking a master class at the New York Academy of Art with Steven Assael, she continued her studies in a tradition common to painters of the past, through full-time apprenticeship. Her first apprenticeship was for two years under Assael in his New York City studio and her second was with Odd Nerdrum in Norway, at his farm and studio on the North Sea.
References from a broad swath of art history can be found in Freymuth-Frazier’s solitary subjects. Influences range from Balthus’s discomforting depictions of preadolescence, and the queen of Kitsch, Margaret Keane’s “Big Eyed” children and animals, to the heavy chiaroscuro and technical rigor of Caravaggio and Rembrandt. This unique combination of classicism and pulp results in something of a hybrid between Lowbrow esthetic and Old Master technique.
Cultural references spanning 2000 years can also be found in Freymuth-Frazier’s work, from the Roman sculpture Sleeping Hermaphrodite, 2nd century A.D., to the recent porn video 2 Girls 1 Cup. Inspiration is drawn from the intimacy of friends and family to the detachment of Eastern European porn sites, stock photography and advertisements. Using a complex language of symbolism like that found in medieval religious icons or the Unicorn Tapestries, the paintings address universal themes such as child development, sexuality, loss of innocence, consumerism, domestication, gender roles, androgyny and body image in American society today.
Freymuth-Frazier’s work has been exhibited internationally with galleries in Barcelona, Sydney, Amsterdam and across the United States from New York City and Chicago to Seattle and Los Angeles. Her work can be found in private collections internationally, including The Seven Bridges Foundation in Connecticut and the John and Diane Marek Collection in Tennessee. She has received attention and reviews from numerous publications including Playboy Magazine, Ms. Magazine, ArtNews, Hi-Fructose Magazine, Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Art Papers, American Artist Magazine, and The Huffington Post.
Rose currently lives and paints in New York City.